Adam Ant and The English Beat Give Lessons in Showmanship at the Greek in LA

Adam Ant at The Greek Theatre LA - All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus
Adam Ant at The Greek Theatre LA - All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

Adam Ant at the Greek Theatre
Saturday, April 27, 2024
Photos and review by ALYSON CAMUS

LOS ANGELES – Adam Ant has been touring the States since March and, on Saturday night, he stopped at the Greek Theatre for one of the first shows of the 2024 season. He took the stage after a very uplifting set from The English Beat, that made people dance in rows at the sound of their fusion ska.

English Beat – All photos by Alyson Camus

The energy was palpable, and it was soon an all-hit collection, throwing a Smokey Robinson cover (“The Tears of a Clown”), between a Prince Buster cover (“Rough Rider”) and “Too Nice to Talk to.” With numerous other oldies covers (Andy Williams’ “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There”), they sounded like a warm oldies station.

English Beat - All photos by Alyson Camus
English Beat – All photos by Alyson Camus

The English Beat brought back a lot of memories in the mind of a 60-something crowd. Led by original band Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar, the large ensemble had visibly a lot of fun to play in front of an enthusiastic crowd, injecting saxophone outbursts, and keyboard swirls into their ska moves.

English Beat – All photos by Alyson Camus

Rough Rider (Prince Buster cover); The Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles cover); Too Nice to Talk To (The Beat cover); Can’t Get Used to Losing You (Andy Williams cover); I’ll Take You There (The Staple Singers cover). Tenderness (General Public cover); Save It for Later (The Beat cover); Ranking Full Stop (The Beat cover); Mirror in the Bathroom (The Beat cover); Jackpot (The Pioneers cover)

Adam Ant - All photos by Alyson Camus
Adam Ant – All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

A few minutes after the Beat, Adam Ant took the stage with his full band which consisted of no less than two drummers, Andy Woodard and the high beehived Jola, A.P. Leach and Will Crewdson on guitars and Joe Holweger on bass.

Adam Ant – All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

They didn’t waste any second, and, for about 100 minutes, it was a loud guitar-drum affair. They opened the night with the song “Antmusic” with the two guitar players beating along to the drummers on big spare drums. Some songs sounded almost tribal, or a war declaration while Adam Ant danced around the stage with careful steps. Looking good and youthful in his black outfit and straw hat, he still cultivates his original romantic dandy-pirate look with knee-high leather boots, a bandana in the back pocket, eyeliner, and large rings on his fingers.

Adam Ant – All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

Think about the original version of Jack Sparrow. The gypsy-pirate look was quite an inspiration for the crowd as I spotted a few double-button shirts, plenty of leather, and painted faces in the audience.

Will Crewdson of Adam Ant – All photos by Alyson Camus

“Good evening, Los Angeles” Adam screamed at us. He is not a talker, but he delivers a rock show, a mic in one hand with the confidence only a long career can build– he will only take his guitar during the second part of the show. Songs like “Prince Charming” received an especially warm reception, with the crowd singing the lyrics at Adam’s place. As I looked around, few people stayed seated during the entire show which showcased his many hit singles dating back to his early ‘70s punk-inspired tunes and going through his more dance-oriented material from the late ‘80s.

Joe Holweger of Adam Ant – All photos by Alyson Camus

The veteran rocker is still a great showman, even though the moves are slower, and his voice is probably not the same. I heard a few people complain about it on my way out of the theater. It was my first time seeing him so I had no real reference, but nobody should expect to see a 69-year-old rocker outdo his youth.

Adam Ant – All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

Rock N Roll is the playground of the young and, at this point, this is about nostalgia… and there’s nothing wrong about this! The band delivered plenty of Adam and the Ants material (“Kings of the Wild Frontier,” “Killer in the Home,” “Beat My Guest,” “Ants Invasion,” “Stand and Deliver,” alternating with songs of his solo career, ”Puss ‘n Boots,” “Desperate But Not Serious,” “Strip,” and the beloved “Wonderful.” Most people were singing along no matter what.

Adam Ant – All photos © 2024 Alyson Camus for US Rocker

The lively stage presence of the guitarists and bassist were a big part of the show with Crewdson shredding and attacking the guitar and the other two bending over with even a few jumps. As the night progressed, the band gained more steam, Adam did many more twists on a foot and everyone got more ferocious, especially when the two guitarists were back at the spare drums, adding some savage beats to the already boisterous mix.


After the great “Wonderful,” and a few more Adam and the Ants songs (“Beat My Guest,” “Ants Invasion,” “Stand and Deliver”), the encore was short but eclectic: “Goody Two Shoes” made everyone dance while “Physical (You’re So)” closed the show with some hot heavy metal level. If you were unlucky and missed this charismatic Rock N Roll night, you still can catch Adam Ant at Cruel World in Pasadena this weekend.

Antmusic (Adam and the Ants song)
Vive le Rock
Friend or Foe
Dog Eat Dog (Adam and the Ants song)
Room At The Top
Prince Charming (Adam and the Ants song)
Zerox (Adam and the Ants song)
Car trouble (Adam and the Ants song)
Kings of the Wild Frontier (Adam and the Ants song) video
Killer in the Home (Adam and the Ants song)
Puss ‘n Boots
Desperate But Not Serious
Beat My Guest (Adam and the Ants song)
Ants Invasion (Adam and the Ants song)
Red Scab
Stand and Deliver (Adam and the Ants song)

Goody Two Shoes
Physical (You’re So) (Adam and the Ants song)